On Deck: March Madness

On Deck: March Madness

Every year, a lot of people look forward to March for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s because they’re relieved of escaping the icy hell that is Winter, or they’re just looking forward to seeing flowers bloom again, March always seems like the first month of the year when those long frowns are replaced by hopeful exuberance.

On Deck: March MadnessIn a lot of ways, the same can be said for fans of basketball, or in this particular instance, college basketball. We all know what March represents to fans of the college basketball, so much so that it can be described in just one word: madness.

As in, March Madness.

With respect to the Super Bowl and the upcoming “Sports-maggedon” on May 2, 2015, March Madness deserves a spot in the list of highly anticipated sporting events this year, or any year for that matter.

Unlike the much-maligned BCS system in college football, nobody, and I mean nobody, has any complaints with the way the men’s college basketball tournament is set-up. Sure, there will be a lot of heartbroken teams that are left out of the dance, relegated to the NIT tournament the same way those who can’t make it to the UEFA Champions League settle for the Europa League. There’s no shame in that, but let’s be clear: every college basketball team in America is shooting for a place in the NCAA tournament.

This season, the stakes are as high as they’ve ever been, even though there’s already growing sentiment that the NCAA men’s basketball tournament should just forego March Madness and just let Kentucky and Duke play in a best of 21 to determine who the national champion is. While I’m not completely opposed to the idea, it does fly against everything that’s awesome about March Madness.

Only in this kind of tournament will you see a relatively unknown, mid-major team take down the titans of the game, one stunning upset at a time. We’ve seen it happen every year, and rest assured, we’ll see it again this year and in the future. The unpredictability of March Madness is all too real for a lot of college teams. You win, you move on. You lose, you go home. There aren’t any second chances in the tournament. It’s a winner-take-all in every game so you’re not going to get any half-assed efforts from any of these teams.

From a betting standpoint, we all know what happens during March Madness. Whether it’s participating in an office bracket pool, or just betting on the individual games, one contest at a time, there’s always a betting element that comes with enjoying the spectacle of this two-week tournament.

So as we enter the month of March, rest assured that business is about to pick up. Teams will be competing in conference title games and Cinderellas will come out of their sheds, dressed to the nines, waiting to be invited to the big dance. Selection Sunday may still be a little under two weeks away, but as early as now, we’re getting ready for the madness that’s about to ensue.

Welcome to March, everybody.